Full Name: Joseph Ayo Babalola
Born: April 25, 1904
Birth place: Odo-Owa, Oke-Ero LGA Kwara State, Nigeria
Died: July 26, 1959 (aged 55)
Death place: Ede, Osun State, southwestern Nigeria
Resting place: Grave Prayer House Mausoleum Effon-Alaiye, Ekiti State, Nigeria
Famous as: Apostle, Preacher, Prophet
Title: Apostle, Prophet
Parent(s): Pa David Lawani Rotimi and Madam Martha Talabi Rotimi
Biographical and educational history
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola was born of Yoruba parents at Odo-Owa, Kwara State, Nigeria. He was brought up as an Anglican.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola was registered at an elementary school at Oto-Awori on Badagry Road, Lagos State, in 1914.
He got to standard four, before he became a blacksmith’s apprentice and he learned it for two years, before he became a steamroller operator under the PWD (Public Works Department), then under the control of Great Britain, learning to become a steamroller driver.
After 15 days of learning to drive the caterpillar, Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola was able to drive it without any assistance. After nine months; he became a master in his class.
A steamroller was first given to him on 1 April 1928 to work on the Osogbo – Ilesha road. On June 14, 1928, he was transferred to Akure – Ilesha road.
Ministry and healing
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola first encounter with God after hearing his voice, was when the angel of the Lord told him to enter his house the voice called to him again telling him to fast for six days and pray 120 times which he faithfully did as he slept that night, an angel entered into his room like lightning and began to talk to him.
Then the angel told him to put off the light inside the room which he immediately did. Thereafter a brighter light completely different from any other lighted the whole room.
The angel told him not to taste any manner of food for six days that the Lord Jesus Christ wants to send him some important works to various towns.
The angel told him that he was the one who had been talking to him on the road when he was driving and that he would have died if he had refused to hearken to his instructions.
That is how he received the call and he went into series of fasting and prayer, all the while he was in Ipetu-Ijesha in Oriade local government area of Osun State.
During this period of fasting and prayers , he received lots of revelations which formed the basis of the way he operated in his ministry.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola later joined the Faith Tabernacle Church in November 1929 where he was baptized in Lagos lagoon in December the same year.
Following the voice of the Lord that Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola heard in 1928, his first miracle was when the revival of his mission began with the raising of a dead child in September 1930.
What followed this in three weeks was the healing of about 100 lepers, 60 blind people and 50 lame persons.
This also resulted in the desolation of Churches in Ilesa because their members transferred their allegiance to the revivalist and that all the patients in Wesley Hospital, Ilesa, abandoned their beds to seek healing from Babalola.
This divinely kicked off The Great Revival of 1930, which saw people coming from most parts of Africa and diaspora without posters and TV adverts.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola ministries were given Bell (Agogo), Omi (water), Staff and his Bible.
According to him the use of Bell (Agogo) is said to be used to call Angels of God down during a prayer gathering. While the water is said to be used for healing of all illness and disease and it opening the womb of any barren women.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola toured Yoruba land and eastern Nigeria, preaching about repentance, and renunciation of idolatry, the importance of prayer and fasting, and the power of God to heal sickness.
And although his tour he have with him, his bell and Yoruba Bible in hand. During this period he also visited many towns and villages based on the Lords guidance where he preached the message of healing and deliverance to the people.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola was specifically instructed by God to heal the sick through water which he prayed into. However for a period of six months he still maintained a strict regime of prayer and fasting.
In 1930 Faith Tabernacle affiliated with the British Apostolic Church. Then following a schism in the Apostolic Church about 1940, Babalola went with a new independent church, Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), where he continued his healing and revivalist activities until his death.
The CAC regards Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola as an apostle and his revival ministry as the beginning of the church. A CAC retreat center was built at Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State where Babalola was first called in 1928.
The watershed in his early ministry came when he was commanded by God to go to his hometown to warn his people against Idolatry, fetish practices and evil works.
According to him The Spirit told me to go to my hometown, where I was born. The Lord said I should rub my face with ashes and to carry palm leaves in my hand and to buy a bell, which I was to be ringing the moment I entered the town and I obeyed.
The voice told me to tell my people that unless they repented, evil beasts would enter the town to destroy them. On that same day I entered the town with a bell in my hand. The entire town was moved and there was great stir and consternation as people fled as they saw him.
The moment they set eyes on me they fled. The Voice told me to ring the bell in my hand round the town and I obeyed.
His people however refused to repent or change their ways they instead summarily beat him up and his family was subjected to heavy persecution by the people of the town.
In defense against the prophesied invasion of the town by wild beasts the people of the town armed themselves with Guns and Cutlasses.
However God told His Servant to tell them he would not bring beasts again but instead would bring epidemics and it would start within forty- five days.
At the expiration of the prophesied forty-five days and epidemic of small pox broke out and within 3 weeks about 300 persons had died. But those who repented and those who came to the man of god after contracting the disease were spared.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola will prayer for days unstop. According to some of his disciple that said, on several occasion as the God Apostle prayer to God on broken glass.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola also sometime stand for 7 days praying to God unstop. Another interesting scenario of his prayer style is that Babalola’s shortest and brief prayer was that of 3 to 4 hours.
It was remarked by Elder Abraham Owoyemi of Odo-Owa that the prophet regularly saw angels who delivered divine messages to him. An angel appeared in one of his prayers and forbade him to wear caps.
Another noticeable feature of his work was the usage of water for healing which prompt the popular C.A.C song then: “Babalola Olomi Iye re o. Omi Iye, Iye, Iye, re o. Omi Iye…”
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola became a prophet and a man with extraordinary powers. Enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit he could spend several weeks in prayer.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola was sent out of the Anglican Church of his village by his Bishop because most members of the Church see visions; speak in tongues and pray vigorously.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola was a spiritually gifted individual who was genuinely dissatisfied with the increasing materialistic and sinful existence into which he believed, the Yoruba in particular and Nigeria in general were being plunged as western civilization influence on society grew.
The C.A.C believes that the spiritiual power bestowed on Babalola placed him on an equal level with Biblical apostles like Peter, Paul and others who were sent out with the authority and in the name of Jesus.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola predicted the changes that will occur in C.A.C ( Chirst Apostolic Church) doctrines after his death in 1959.
He was one of the first and few prophet of God that have the grace to know when they will die, as he predicated his death in 1957 for his disciple at ikere Ekiti during his 3 days fasting and prayer with them.
Another fact was that, before he even took the ministry, there was prophecy that he was going to work for God for just 30 years before he will be call upon by God.
He took the full ministry after his baptising in 1929 at the age of 25 ages and deid at the age of 55 years in 1959 and that same year his ministry clock 30 years.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola evangelistic success in Efon-Alaaye was a remarkable one. Archdeacon H. Dallimore from Ado-Ekiti and some white pastors from Ogbomoso Baptist Seminary were believed to have come to see for themselves the “wonder-working prophet” at Efon.
The success of the revival was accelerated by the conversion of both the Oba of Efon and the Oba of Aramoko. They were both baptised with the names, Solomon Aladejare Agunsoye and Hezekiah Adeoye respectively. After this event, news of the revival at Efon spread to other parts of Ekitiland .
The missionaries also visited other towns in the present Ondo State. Among them were Owo, Ikare and Oka.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola retreated to his home town in Odo-Owa for a personal prayer retreat. While he was at Odo-Owa, a warrant for his arrest was issued from Ilorin.
He was arrested for preaching against witches, a practice which had caused some trouble in Otuo in present Edo State. He was sentenced to jail for six months in Benin City in March 1932. He was the first prophet of God that was send to prison as at then,
In 1935 he married Dorcas. The following year Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola, accompanied by Evangelist Timothy Baba Busuyi, went to the Gold Coast.
On arrival at Accra, he was recognised by some people who had seen him at the Great Revival in Ilesa. After a successful campaign in the Gold Coast he returned to Nigeria.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola was genuinely dissatisfied with the increasing materialistic and sinful existence of his time because of the western civilization influence on society grew.
In a vision he had, Jesus appeared to Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola in a white robe along with a very tall man who revealed that it was this Jesus who asked me to speak with you.
The man in a dazzling robe spoke at length about the mission he was to embark upon. The man also told him of the persecutions he would face and at the same time assured him of God’s protection and victory.
A hand prayer bell was given to Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola as a symbol. He was told that the sound of the bell would always drive away evil spirits.
He was also given a bottle of “life- giving water” to heal all manners of sickness. Consequently, wherever and whenever he prayed into water for therapeutic purposes, effective healing was procured for those who drank the water. Thus, Babalola became a prophet and a man with extraordinary powers.
After the great revival of Oke-Oye, the prophet was directed by the Holy Spirit to go out on further missionary journeys, but even before this, people from other parts of the country had been spreading the glad tidings of Oke-Oye, Ilesa’s great revival, to other parts of the country.
Accompanied by some followers, Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola went to Offa, in present Kwara State.
Characteristically, people turned out to hear his preaching and see miracles. The Muslims in Offa became jealous and for that reason incited the members of the community against him.
To avoid bloodshed he was compelled to leave. He next stopped was in Usi in present Ekiti State for his evangelical mission and he performed many works of healing. From Usi he and his men moved to Efon-Alaaye, also in Ekiti, where they received a warm reception from the Oba Alaaye of Efon. An entire building was provided for their comfort.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola requested an open space for prayer from the Oba who willingly and cheerfully gave him the privilege to choose a site.
Consequently, the prophet and his men chose a large area at the outskirts of town. Traditionally the place was a forbidden forest because of the evil spirits that were believed to inhabit it.
The Oba tried to dissuade Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola and his men from entering the forbidden forest, but Babalola insisted on establishing his prayer ground there. The missionaries entered the bush, cleared it and consecrated it as a prayer ground. When no harm came upon them, the inhabitants of Efon were inspired to accept the new faith in large numbers.
During one of his prayer sessions an angel appeared to him and gave him a big yam which he ordered him to eat. The angel told him that the yam was the tuber with which God fed the whole world.
The parable of the 3 Palm tree leaves that God gave to Apostle Babalola on the believers and the church of God. One of the palm tree was dry (Ogbe), the other palm tree was rusted ( Oro) while the last one was fresh (O tutu), the dry palm tree are for those who refuse to accepted him as there God will dry of fat the end.
While those who deceitful accept him as there savior with rust away. Why those who accepted him God as there personal saviour shall be fresh forever and ever.
It was said that the palm tree leafs which God use as a parable for him, was the leafs he use to protect his steamroller when it breakdown. After some weeks that apostle went back to the truck, of the three leafs was Dry, the second was rust while the third one was very fresh.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola and Bola Are
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola during his life time, was the one that prophecy and save the life of Lady/ Evang. (Dr.) Bola Are, who is today known all over the world.
The water Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola use to bath Mama Bola Are then was taking from Ile-Oluji, the present place where they cited Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Isegun, DCC headquarters.
Another fact is the power in the Ikeji Arakeji water in Osun state, the water over the years have heal many people.
Finders reveal that the water has no end or begin and it has never gone since 1928.
He is one prophet that believes in power of prayer, it was said that, he made African to believe that they can pray directly to God and get answers without any sacrifice or worshipping idols.
Prayer is one of his hobbies and in any town he found himself, he look for a wildness or mountain to prayer. This was how he moved to the mountain which he named Ori Oke Anu (Mountain of Mercy), after a while, he established a CAC church on it and his building is still their till date.
Mystery Of His Ministry
The Mysterious Tree of Usi Ekiti
This was a tree in a Forest believed to be inhabited by evil spirits and it was in this forest a land was given to him for his revival campaign.
This tree had been cut many times but it stood again as if nothing had been done to it, however the Apostle went to the tree rang his bell and prayed on the tree and it was cut down forever.
Encounter with gods of Ifira
Another mysteries encounter of late Apostle Babalola was the one he had with gods of Ifira, this god called “egule” worshipped in the Isowo Quarters of the town.
This god was so ruthless that no man dares point a finger at it to call attention to it as such acts led to forfeiture offenders or death. It is said that a big python coiled around the pot on which the god was placed.
This god was situated on a bushy hill and no one dares goes there for fear of being harmed by the god or the python guarding it.
When Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola got to this town he requested to visit the hill of this god. People were concerned for his safety but he insisted, then people from neighbouring towns and villages came to see what was going to happen.
All he took was his bell and his staff and he went to the hill with people watching him. Immediately he cited this god and its python he started ringing his bell as he moved towards it. And immediately the pot on which the god stood broke into pieces and the god hen the snake fled, when people saw this they started singing and rejoicing and the people beheld the Python and trampled it till it died and the people abandoned the Idols for God.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola and Dorcas
History has it that the woman he truly loved was a single mother, but the elders of CAC considered it an embarasement for their leader to marry a single mother.
Hence, they misled him to marry the spinster who later became the thorn in his flesh. Her name was Dorcas. A Christian name is not the same with a Christian at heart.
“There was a time she poured palm oil on the white garment of the man of God on his way to a crusade ground.
Another time after returning from the mountain after long days of prayers and fasting, the wife served him a delicious meal to break his fast.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola had only taken about two or three morsels when the wife told him “l thought you are a true prophet, because you should have known by revelation that the chicken in the food was stolen”.
The man of God gently left the remaining food and returned to the mountain to ask God for forgiveness.
“As anointed as he was, he had no mentor.